The Chattri

Image accompanying MP3 audio clip: Chattri Memorial ( KB)

Chattri Memorial

Click to hear a commentary on the memorial service. Photo by Jack Latimer

Memorial to Indian soldiers

By Rosemary Allix

The Chattri, white domed and pillared, nestles high on the Downs near Patcham. It is a memorial to 12,000 wounded Indian soldiers who passed through Brighton & Hove Hospitals during the Great War and in particular Sikh and Hindu soldiers who died here between 1914 and 1918. It is built on the exact spot where 53 bodies were cremated; their ashes were then taken to be scattered in the sea.

The Chattri was unveiled by the Prince of Wales, in 1921. From 1946 to 1999 the Patcham British Legion organised an annual pilgrimage to the Chattri, and this tradition of a memorial service each year in early June is now carried on by Mr Davinder Dhillon, a local teacher. The event is attended by representatives of the armed forces, the police and the City of Brighton and Hove, as well as many individuals with personal connections to the soldiers who were cremated there.

On Sunday 10th June 2007 Rosemary Allix joined those taking part. Sound Clip is 3 mins 20 secs in duration.

This page was added on 23/07/2007.
Comments about this page

I first visited the Chattri last summer 07 after years of seeing it in the distance in the middle of the fields just outside of Patcham. I was with my 10 yr old son Jimmy. It's a beautiful memorial, in a peacefull place and I decided that we would return on Remembrance Sunday to observe the two minutes silence. So up we walked to the Chattri on Remembrance Sunday some months later only to find just one elderly gentleman and two ladies and ourselves. I was very surprised, I thought there would be a better turnout than that. No-one from the Indian community at all Such a shame.

By martin phillips (02/03/2008)

Response to Martin - I looked online at the website for the Chattri Memorial (http://www.chattri.com/), and they do their remembrance services on the second Sunday in June at 2:30. I'm not exactly sure what the significance is of the date/time, but that's what it said. In fact, the ceremony seems to be well attended - the pictures there show the Mayor of the city in attendance as well as many members of the Indian community and former soldiers. One article said that over 200 people attended last year's memorial ceremony.

By Tori (15/05/2008)

Over 250 people attended the Chattri memorial service on Sunday 8th June 2008. Here are some pictures and a video of the day, enjoy at the Chattri: http://black-history.org.uk/chattri08/index.htm
at the University: http://black-history.org.uk/chattriexhib08/index.htm
The Chattri, ITV Meridian Monday 9th June 2008
http://www.itvlocal.com/meridian/?player=MER_HomePage_15&void=199121

By Bert Williams (12/06/2008)

I remember well visiting the Chattri just after the second world war with a friend and at that time as young boys one could go that far on the Downs with a bottle of pop and a sandwich without seeing a soul. There was still plenty of ordanance which one had to very careful to avoid, there was also a rifle range not too far away where there were various calibres rounds still left about. The Chattri was surrounded by a chain link fence, well rusted and broken down in places hence we entered and climbed onto it as boys will. There was narrow strips of garden north east south and west which had tall roses planted in them. I am pretty sure at that time no one was visiting the place.

By Terence Mills (01/01/2012)

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